Sunday Post: Attraction

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Today I’m participating in Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post photo challenge. This week’s theme is Attraction. Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view.

As a tourist town, San Diego is full of attractions. My kids and I visited two of them this morning. We first went to the world famous San Diego Zoo. I love the elephant topiary welcoming you at the front. There is one elephant on each side of the San Diego Zoo sign.

Sunday Post: Attraction - Entrance of the world famous San Diego Zoo
Sunday Post: Attraction – Entrance of the world famous San Diego Zoo

We were planning to spend most of the morning at the zoo but with the unexpected rain, we shortened our visit. We saw many animals but probably one of the most famous attractions at the zoo are the giant pandas. The 9-month old baby was out with his mom, taking a nap in the trees.

Sunday Post: Attraction - Giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo
Sunday Post: Attraction – Giant pandas at the San Diego Zoo

Unfortunately the light was terrible to take pictures and this was the only angle available. So here’s baby panda – Xiao Liwu. It means Little Gift in Chinese.

Sunday Post: Attraction - Baby panda Xiao Liwu at the San Diego Zoo
Sunday Post: Attraction – Baby panda Xiao Liwu at the San Diego Zoo

His mom Bai Yun was taking a nap too.

Sunday Post: Attraction - Panda Bai Yun at the San Diego Zoo
Sunday Post: Attraction – Panda Bai Yun at the San Diego Zoo

She managed to display a couple of poses while I was taking my pictures. How nice!

Sunday Post: Attraction - Giant panda at the San Diego Zoo
Sunday Post: Attraction – Giant panda at the San Diego Zoo

Since the weather wasn’t getting any better, we headed to the San Diego Natural History Museum, a five-minute walk from the zoo. Here’s what welcomes you inside when you enter the museum from the Balboa Park fountain entrance.

Sunday Post: Attraction - Dinosaurs at the San Diego Natural History Museum
Sunday Post: Attraction – Dinosaurs at the San Diego Natural History Museum

The San Diego Natural History Museum is currently displaying the amazing Dino Jaws exhibit, which demonstrates the feeding habits of various dinosaurs. There are about 10 robotic full-size dinosaurs on display throughout the exhibit, including this Baryonyx trying to catch a fish. I love the shadow of the jaws and teeth on the back wall.

Sunday Post: Attraction - Dino Jaws at the San Diego Natural History Museum
Sunday Post: Attraction – Dino Jaws at the San Diego Natural History Museum

Of course, there are many other attractions in San Diego, but I hope you enjoyed this little sample.

Sunday Post: Arrangement

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Most of my photos have a nature theme and arrangement is not a main characteristic r of natural displays. I think randomness is what makes nature more attractive – it’s full of surprises. So I thought I’d try something different for this post by using the Russian nesting dolls my mom bought for me in Saint Petersburg a couple of years ago. What’s so special about them? There are 10 nesting dolls in all, quite a rare sight. The smallest one is the size of a grain of rice.

I worked on several arrangements for the photos below. It was a good math exercise and I think my favorite one is the spiral pattern. Can you think of  way I could have arranged the Russian dolls not shown below?

Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view.

Sunday Post: Arrangement of Russian nesting dolls in line
Sunday Post: Arrangement of Russian nesting dolls in line
Sunday Post: Arrangement of Russian nesting dolls in diagonal
Sunday Post: Arrangement of Russian nesting dolls in diagonal
Sunday Post: Arrangement of Russian nesting dolls in spiral
Sunday Post: Arrangement of Russian nesting dolls in spiral
Sunday Post: Arrangement of Russian nesting dolls by pairs
Sunday Post: Arrangement of Russian nesting dolls by pairs
Sunday Post: Arrangement of Russian nesting dolls in family portrait
Sunday Post: Arrangement of Russian nesting dolls in family portrait

Sunday Post: Focused Attention

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Today I’m participating in Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post photo challenge. This week’s theme is Focused Attention.

If there’s one thing you need to have when taking photos of nature, it is focused attention. Paying attention to your surroundings is crucial if you want to spot and capture something that looks good to the eye. Sometimes, timing is important if you’re trying to take photos of animals, or even skies, which can change any minute. Focus is mostly needed when you’re taking photos up close, in macro mode.

I just received my brand new Canon Powershot SX500 IS a couple of days ago (it felt like Christmas all over again!), so I played with it a bit yesterday, trying to focus on the raindrops that are everywhere because of the rain. It was fun comparing the photos I took of raindrops on the same tree with my other camera. I’ll be doing a full post on these raindrops later this week, but here’s a preview of it. Focused attention can get you a nice shot of raindrops on a thuja tree branch.

Remember you can click on each photo so you can see it in a larger size.

Sunday Post: Focused Attention - raindrop on a tree branch
Sunday Post: Focused Attention – raindrop on a tree branch

You also need focused attention when trying to capture a moving body of water on camera. I did that recently and I still have to go through my photos to pick a select few. Here’s one that came out alright, I think. The sun was already over the hill and the whole aread being shaded gave the water a blue tint. A pretty neat effect.

Sunday Post: Focused Attention - stream water
Sunday Post: Focused Attention – stream water

That same day, I could see the moon high up in the sky in the late afternoon. I wanted to take a picture of it, but I knew it wouldn’t be a great photo if I had nothing else in the photo but the moon in broad daylight. So I looked around and found a way to add to the picture and give the moon some perspective. I’m pretty happy with the way the photo turned out. What do you think?

Sunday Post: Focused Attention - moon in bright blue sky
Sunday Post: Focused Attention – moon in bright blue sky

That’s all I have for this theme of focused attention. I hope you enjoyed it!

Sunday Post: Simplicity

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

Today I’m participating in Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post photo challenge. This week’s theme is Simplicity.

Yesterday was a beautiful winter day in San Diego. Not a cloud in the sky, slight breeze, unusually warm (75 degrees by the coast). Perfect for a visit at the San Diego Botanic Garden with my kids. You’d think January would offer few opportunities for taking photos of nature but I got to snap a few. I’ll share them in several posts and I thought I’d take the opportunity of displaying a few here, with this simplicity theme.

Remember you can click on each photo for a larger view of it.

A pond with some running water exemplifies simplicity to me. And simple is beautiful, like this sculpture at the lily pond by the entrance of the San Diego Botanic Garden.

Sunday Post: Simplicity - lily pond at the San Diego Botanic Garden
Sunday Post: Simplicity – lily pond at the San Diego Botanic Garden

There’s also a Bamboo pond in the Bamboo Garden, which is about three times as big as this one, but still very small and simple.

Sunday Post: Simplicity - Bamboo pond at the San Diego Botanic Garden
Sunday Post: Simplicity – Bamboo pond at the San Diego Botanic Garden

It has a  basic waterfall set up, again, very simple. A trickle of water over rocks.

Sunday Post: Simplicity - Bamboo pond at the San Diego Botanic Garden
Sunday Post: Simplicity – Bamboo pond at the San Diego Botanic Garden

There may have been some animals underwater but we didn’t spot any. Instead we spotted a couple of mallards, or technically a mallard couple having a snack in the pond. I love the simple ripples in the water.

Sunday Post: Simplicity - Ducks at the Bamboo pond at the San Diego Botanic Garden
Sunday Post: Simplicity – Ducks at the Bamboo pond at the San Diego Botanic Garden

Finally we were lucky enough to see a green heron, checking out the water and looking for some potential lunch. Again, I love the simple reflection of the green heron in the water. Simplicity, what a beautiful theme!

Sunday Post: Simplicity - Green heron at the San Diego Botanic Garden
Sunday Post: Simplicity – Green heron at the San Diego Botanic Garden

Sunday Post: Concept

Zazzle online shop If you enjoy my photos and would like to purchase some, I want to thank you! Simply visit my Zazzle online shop and browse the product offerings. If there’s a photo you would like to purchase but don’t see it in my shop, please contact me by using the Contact form at the bottom of my home page and let me know which photos you are interested in purchasing, and in what format / medium.

I’d like to start this post by reminding you that the contest to win my 2013 photo calendar is still going on and it’s easy to participate. Make sure you don’t miss out!

Today I’m participating in Jakesprinter’s Sunday Post photo challenge. This week’s theme is Concept. It took me a while to figure out what type of photos I’d use for this challenge. But then, the idea simply showed itself to me. Yesterday morning, I took a look outside in my garden after I got downstairs and this is what I saw: very tight spider webs covered with the cold morning dew in about a dozen spots on my artificial turf.

Remember you can click on each image to view a larger view of these spider webs covered with tiny rain drops.

Sunday Post: Concept - raindrops in spider web on grass
Sunday Post: Concept – raindrops in spider web on grass

What’s interesting is, until that morning, we didn’t know the spider webs were there. The dew made them appear. Now you see it, now you don’t. What a concept!

Here’s what a spider web with tiny raindrops look like from up close.

Sunday Post: Concept - tiny raindrops on spider web on grass
Sunday Post: Concept – tiny raindrops on spider web on grass

Here’s another photo that shows you how well and tight the spider web was built.

Sunday Post: Concept - raindrops on spider webs, green grass background
Sunday Post: Concept – raindrops on spider webs, green grass background

I like the concept of mixing two natural elements, in this case a spider web and dew drops, to create an interesting subject. I also like the photographic concept of close-ups, so here are a few photos showing the tiny raindrops on these spider webs even better.

Sunday Post: Concept - close-up of raindrops on spider webs on green grass
Sunday Post: Concept – close-up of raindrops on spider webs on green grass
Sunday Post: Concept - close-up of raindrops on spider webs on green grass
Sunday Post: Concept – close-up of raindrops on spider webs on green grass

I hope you enjoyed these photos. Would you have guessed I can’t stand spiders? They really gross me out but they can create some masterpieces if you look closely.

By the way, if you like these photos of spiderwebs, take a look at another set of photos I took of a spiderweb with large raindrops over colorful river rocks here and here.

If you enjoyed the photos in this post and would like to receive more photos, please enter your email address in the left sidebar to subscribe. You can also follow me on my Facebook page, where I not only post my new photos but also share coupon codes for my Zazzle store, inspiring quotes, etc. Thank you for reading!